Dear old friend,
I have known you for quite a while now – decades even – yet it still feels as though I don’t fully understand you. When we were younger you seemed to move very slowly, emphasising each minute of the day because you were learning the ropes as well. We walked hand in hand for several years, best friends bound by fate. The memories we have from the early 2000’s are still fresh in my mind because every second that went by was worth remembering. We had so many firsts together, so many what ifs and lots of forgotten promises that resurface in the wake of a dream. I remember when we used to talk to each other about how the future would be, we vowed to forever be together even when if I fell in l Back then it was you and me, we told stories to each other, often fantasising of what was to come.
Our journey has not always been the smoothest. This is something we could not prevent, yet I was too naive to prepare for the turbulence. It started off small, you would nudge me every time big sis was about to sneak out and urged me to tell mom. Yes, I said it, had you not kept my mind working in the wee hours of the morning, I would not have been a snitch. It started off with the late night wakings, and progressed into nightmares which you certainly planted in my head in preparation of mom’s death. How I wish we could rewrite our story so that you could give me back my childhood and allow me to enjoy the last few years with her. I should have known that you were toxic for me – the signs were all there but time and time again I believed we were evolving as a pair.
In my teens, you changed course so quickly taking me along with you to a parallel universe. At times I wonder what it would have been like if we stayed on the same path. Would we still be as thick as thieves? Would we have gotten into trouble a few times and laughed about it at the end of the day? All of the ‘what ifs’ really don’t matter now because you stole from me what can never be returned. You stole my youth. You stole my innocence. You stole my happiness. You stole my faith. It does not matter that you traced the path and revealed flashes of what would be. No, what bothers me most is that you took away what was. These things were bound to dissipate, but I needed to let go not have everything taken.
Now that we are both mature and experienced you’ve come back into my life expecting to make amends. Yes, it is easy for you isn’t it? You come and go as you please and I have no choice but to let you in. I’ve said we are both mature, but I have something you didn’t know I would ever get… My old friend, back then it was you and me, but if you want to be a part of my life again, you will be sharing it with wisdom, forgiveness, nostalgia and peace. This is my newfound family whom I’ve grown to know and love. I will forgive you over and over but you will not fool me again, this time I’ll be ready for what will be.
What I have learnt from our history together is that you simply come to take. All the memories of my mother that I should be holding onto are blurred by the flashes of nightmares I used to have as a child. It’s strange to say that I cannot differentiate between the dreams and reality. Is that the fruit of your labour? Had you planned this all along?
As I sit here in the dark writing to you, I have my little angel next to me fast asleep. What you don’t know is that I have been documenting every second of our lives together so that you don’t steal from my spawn. We will cherish each moment and reminisce often because the roles have changed – for now, I’m in charge. I will admit that I am scared, scared that this story may not go as planned, but I take comfort in knowing that she will never have to relive my experiences. You will win in the end, you always do, but trust that this time will be different as the memories we are forming will live on forever. I’ve noticed that you have changed your narrative too and are moving even faster these days – that sounds a little too familiar. They say history repeats itself but I daresay that won’t be the case. No, we are prepared.
Time, I forgive you, but you will not steal from me again.
Be sure to check out the other posts in the Accepting Grief series: